This book provides a radical reading of Edmund Spenser and argues for a re-orientation in Renaissance criticism. It begins by critiquing the new historicist hegemony in Spenser studies, and, through a series of detailed readings, proposes alternative strategies for interpreting the texts of this pivotal Renaissance author which include a politicised anew aestheticisma, eco-criticism, and pastoral theory. Unlike most non-new historicist studies, Radical Spenserargues that Spenseras texts demand a reading at once political and sensitive to aesthetic surprise. Following a polemical Introduction which establishes Spenseras centrality to key problems in contemporary Renaissance studies, Richard Chamberlain shows that William Empsonas ideas about pastoral are vital for an understanding of Spenser and early modern literature. The following chapters discuss Spenseras use, in The Shepheardes Calender, of a distinctively apastorala logic to problematise the relationship between literature and criticism; the ways in which this method informs The Faerie Queene; the approach, in the central books of the epic, to textual and state authority; and the final booksa exploration of political experience. Finally, by demonstrating the complexity of the critically neglected prose treatise A View of the State of Ireland, the book offers an eco-critical perspective on Spenseras place in the natural and cultural environments of sixteenth-century Ireland.Key Features* Theoretical intervention encouraging debate and analysis in Renaissance studies.* Close analysis of key passages offers a new understanding of how Spenseras writing works.* Broad coverage including readings of Spenseras major poems and his prose dialogue on Ireland.Critical Problems The Shepheardes Calender, 1 Spensera#39;s first major work, has received much less attention from professional critics than The Faerie Queene. It has a strangeness of form, style and genre which has contributed to its relativeanbsp;...
|Publisher||:||Edinburgh University Press - 2005|